About lignin fibre line

With this new winder and conditioning unit, you can spin lignin monofilaments and subsequently cross-link them under well-defined heat, stress or strain conditions, so that they can be carbonized subsequently. These two screening instruments drastically relieve your R&D efforts and reduce your development time, so that less R&D budget is needed.

Lignin, a main component of wood, is one of the most abundant renewable biopolymers on earth. It is a byproduct in the paper industry with the main use as a biofuel because of its high energy content. Yet, the industry is constantly scouting for new, higher-end, value-added applications.

One such potential new application is high tenacity, high stiffness carbon fibres. The main driver is the lower raw material costs of lignin fibres compared with PAN fibres. To develop a reliable process, R&D with specialized instruments is needed, as lignin fibres are extremely difficult to process and handle because of their very high brittleness.

Xplore recently developed this dedicated R&D lignin fibre line meeting all demanding R&D requirements. Scientists can now more easily collect lignin fibres with our special, large diameter winder and subsequently condition these fibres in an extremely accurate and reproducible way. The two instruments enable you to screen and optimize this delicate spinning and conditioning process with different lignin grades. It results in cross-linked lignin fibres with better mechanical properties. These fibres can be converted into carbon fibres in a final carbonization process step.

With our new winder, lignin monofilaments can be produced and collected in a reliable and reproducible way.
Our new conditioning unit contains many sophisticated features to guarantee reproducible clamping of the extremely fragile lignin fibres, precise temperature control of the airflow and a constant very low stress or strain of the lignin fibre to be cross-linked under the chosen cure conditions. The strain can be adjusted on a nanometer level and the stress on a mN level. As required, the stress range can be chosen 1 – 250 mN or 1 – 1000 mN. The gripper displacement part of the conditioning unit can move back and forth with minimum increments of 1 nm to ensure accurate and constant fibre tension or strain during the process of cross-linking under thermal load. The conditioning unit enables you to cross-link the lignin fibre under ultra-accurate, pre-defined tension or strain and thermal conditions to give it sufficient mechanical properties for the subsequent carbonizing step. The compact design allows the equipment to fit on a table in your R&D laboratory.
After this conditioning, the cured lignin monofilaments are strong enough to be converted into carbon fibres via a standard carbonization process (not in the Xplore conditioning unit).

Hence this new lignin fibre line can provide the precise and delicate pretreatments required to produce a cross-linked lignin fibre with sufficient mechanical properties to allow handling for a subsequent carbonization process step.

The Xplore lignin fibre line enables you to screen and optimise the delicate spinning and conditioning processes in a fast, accurate, reproducible and user-friendly manner.